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A few reviews
While You Were Sleeping - 1995 - 7/10

Once popular Sandra Bullock holiday vehicle, now sliding off radar.
Unfairly, perhaps.  Despite script flaws, this has a lot of heart and a surprisingly melancholic tone.
Female token booth employee rescues affluent man after he is shoved onto train rails and rendered comatose.
Due to misunderstandings, his family thinks she is their son’s fiancee and embraces her into their home.
From there on, complications, funny and bittersweet, ensue.
Major drawback is the cartoon music which misinforms scene after scene.

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The heart of this, however, is an amazing performance by Bullock, whose character, Lucy, is whip-smart, funny, kind hearted, romantic, and desperately lonely.
Though the film is about Lucy, in real life such characters work beside us or live across the hall, yet are completely invisible.  And at Christmas time, generally forgotten.
One of Bullock’s best roles.
Des Crimes Presque Parfaits - 2012 - 6/10
AKA - Almost Perfect Crimes

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Reenacted crimes from the 1700s to 1930s, analyzed and discussed by a variety of talking heads.
Something you might see on the Crime Channel (is there such a thing?) only this is French.
Everyone speaks in French (hard-subbed) save for the narrator.
Beware, most of the guilty climb the scaffold.
Moreover, some of those receiving the guillotine chop would be considered innocent in today’s eye.
Perhaps more interesting if you are dying of boredom.
Comfort And Joy - 1984 - 5/10

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Scottish radio announcer gets entangled in ice cream truck feud.
Mister Bunny (no more Mister Softy!) trucks vandalize McCool trucks and vice versa.
In other hands, this might have been a holiday turf war.
Instead, this is weird for the sake of weirdness.
No character development - indeed, even the main character, one Dickie Bird, is barely a sketch.
A “wintery" film, the story is fairly depressing and meanders in a lifeless path.
I screened this theatrically when it first came out.  I had no memory of it because it is not memorable.
Quirky, not comedy.  Quirky, though not particularly enjoyable.
A History Of Horror - 2010 - 6/10

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Three part documentary on cinematic Horror.
1930s Universal, Hammer in the ‘60s, knives in the 80s.
Mark Gatiss chats with historians, surviving relics, and filmmakers.
There are detours throughout, such as the Val Lewton films of the 40s, Euro Horror that paralleled the blood drenched Hammer productions, and major studio releases of the 70s.
I knew every single one of the films referenced, as will most readers of this forum.
A nice introduction, but no undiscovered ground.
The Twelve Trees Of Christmas - 2013 - 5/10

I was in the mood for a “different” Christmas film.
Something along the lines of Chupacabra Vs Baby Jesus Vs Salvation Army Santas.
This is out there, I just know it!  Or it ought to be.
Whilst I searched for holiday horrors, my bride waltzed in and loaded this winner.

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Manhattan library is scheduled to be wrecked for swanky new condos!
Rather than phone Don Trump for advice, plucky librarian decides to save her beloved workplace with a Christmas tree contest!
Oh, and it just happens she lives in the same apartment as the billionaire owner of the library site.  And he is young, handsome, and single.  Another Festivus miracle!
Will the library be saved?  Will love blossom?  Will that little girl take elocution lessons?

Note:  I was fairly bruised by the time credits rolled.
Because I kept asking questions and kept getting shoved, punched or kicked in reply.
“Her librarian character is single, thin, and straight?  All three?”
“Her apartment is huge!  With a view!  On a librarian salary!  Where can I get one?”
“Wait a minute.  Her boss, the head of the library, hooking up with the janitor?”
“Where are all the homeless people?  Street people,  crazy people, bums?”
“What kids read real books?  Those kids don’t have smart phones?”
“Where did contestants buy their trees?  They must be 15 feet high, all of ‘em!”
“Look, Casper Van Dien!  Whoa, is that Scary Spice?”
Yes, it was.  Christmas treacle from the Lifetime Channel.  Caveat emptor.
(12-23-2016, 04:07 PM)Vultural Wrote: Chupacabra Vs Baby Jesus Vs Salvation Army Santas.

if this movie doesn't exist, then it must be made. for humanity, for the cheeldren.
Boomerang - 1947 - 6/10

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Part of 20th Century Fox Noir releases.
Popular minister is murdered on a busy sidewalk by man in coat and hat.
Police proceed to arrest every man who fills said description - poor or unemployed men, naturally.
They zero in on one and wear him down, refusing to let him sleep, until he signs a “confession.”
Case closed!  Citizens can rest easy at nights as democracy triumphs again.
Well ... no ... cause this ain’t no Noir.  It’s an early, preachy Elia Kazan film.
Corrupt small town America, themes that landed Kazan in a hotseat before HUAC.
There are better and more fun Noirs out there, as well as finer Kazan films, though I tend to shun this particular director.
Hell or High Water (2016)

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From the writer of Sicario comes a modest but terrifically satisfying brothers-in-crime flick starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges (who could easily be playing the grandson of his True Grit's Rooster Cogburn). As with Killing Them Softly, to which this could be considered a spiritual sequel (or, rather, cinematic universe companion), the economy, both macro and micro, play a large part. Shades of Cormac MacCarthy, also. Contains deeper ruminations on morality than all three nuTrek films put together.

Thanks for the heads-up on the man in the high castle. LOVED season 1, and am looking forward to season 2. :-)
The Wailing — 2016 — 9/10

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south korean horror that messes with you. a sickness has come to a rural village, but why?

one of my first reactions to reading its netflix summary was, why is this movie 2 hours, 36 minutes long? and once i started watching, i was engrossed. events unfold as a slow burn, but the movie doesn't waste time.

the story kept me disoriented, even about the movie's genre. (korean films are known for genre-bending.) and the resolution isn't spoon-fed to the viewer; it kept me thinking for hours after it was over.

i don't watch a lot of horror, but this has to be one of the best movies i've seen in the past several years, and i'm eager for a rewatch to catch clues i missed the first time around.

the cinematography is gorgeous in its composition and movement, and the characters feel real. there weren't any jump scares that i could recall, and that's a positive in my eyes.

i recommend seeing this cold, if possible. i hadn't read any reviews or even seen a trailer before pressing "play," and i'm glad i didn't.

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